World Cup pubs late licence bid rejected

England fans Fans groups say watching the football in the pub is the next best thing to being at a live match

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There will be no national extension of pub licensing hours during England's opening World Cup match, the Home Office has confirmed.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) had asked for serving times to be extended on two weekends during the tournament in Brazil this summer.

But the Home Office rejected the bid, saying the World Cup was not a "one-off" event like the Queen's Jubilee.

England play Italy at 23:00 BST on Saturday 14 June 2014.

Start Quote

Premises which wish to open longer during this time can do so by applying for a Temporary Event Notice extension”

End Quote Norman Baker Crime Prevention Minister

Industry body the BBPA had put in an application on behalf of all pubs to allow them to to stay open from 23:00 to 01:00 on that Friday and Saturday - the opening weekend of the tournament.

It also asked for an extra two hours on the closing weekend, 11 and 12 July.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds told BBC Radio 5 live: "The Home Office wrote back to us and said 'we don't consider this of national importance'.

"They've really missed something here and they should reconsider."

She said a temporary licence would cost pubs a total of £738,000 if they all applied for individual licences.

Upset fans watching Arsenal lose in a pub The BBPA says 4m people watched the 2010 World Cup in the pub
Chelsea fans watching football on a pub TV

Individual pubs can apply for a one-off late licence at a cost of £21 or in "exceptional circumstances" ministers can extend hours nationally.

Fans group the Football Supporters' Federation said it was a "great shame" for those priced out of travelling to Brazil.

"For many fans the next best thing to a live game is the communal vibe of the pub," the federation's Graham Brunskill told the Daily Star Sunday.

Ministers extended weekend licensing hours for the recent royal wedding and Queen's Jubilee.

But Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker said the government had "no plans" to repeat the move.

"It is our normal practice to only extend licensing hours under the Licensing Act 2003 in exceptional circumstances, usually for one-off events such as the Golden Jubilee rather than prolonged periods," he said.

"Premises which wish to open longer during this time can do so by applying for a Temporary Event Notice extension.

"This gives local authorities and police an opportunity to feed into the decision making process, allowing them to allocate resources if necessary."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 271.

    just means everyone will head home for the match and drink at home and have all night parties keeping everyone else up in residential homes. at least if the pubs are open it keeps fans away from residents and controlled if they get out of hand, silly decision we used to live in a free society not anymore nanny state comes to mind...

  • rate this

    Comment number 193.

    Good - at least the government is considering ordinary people who happen to live near pubs or the routes to them and who want a peaceful night without all the noise and shouting that seems to accompany but matches shown on pub TV. Surely if fans want to get together it can be recorded and shown during regular hours? Digital recordings are indistinguishable from a live transmission.

  • rate this

    Comment number 171.

    Many pubs are in residential areas -why on earth should people automatically accept being kept up late because of football when they have work the next day or their kids have school -it should be a local decision for local councils in appropriate places.

  • rate this

    Comment number 112.

    I keep hearing that we live in a free country so why should pubs and the public have to ask for permission to be able to have a drink after a certain time at night.

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    I generally avoid pubs that have football on, I find it a mindless form of entertainment and also that if the team everyone is supporting do anything they are supposed to do (like win) or even what they aren't, the crowd get rowdy. They could always try having their mates round at home and a few beers.


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